The range of ways Walgreens (Deerfield, Ill.) is leveraging technology to make personal health management easier for patients was highlighted this week by the company’s Chief Medical Officer, Cheryl Pegus, M.D., MPH, moderator of the opening panel on the future of digital health at the Consumer Electronics Show’s (CES) Digital Health Summit. Pegus discussed the evolution of digital health at Walgreens and how the company’s current suite of solutions is driving improved access, outcomes and cost -effective care for both acute and chronic conditions.
Pegus discussed how Walgreens has embraced the use of mobile technology platforms as a means of improving delivery of care to patients. The company now offers mobile applications for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, devices, featuring text alerts for more than 1 million subscribers, and a function that allows patients to simply scan the barcode of their prescription to send in refills. In addition to these mobile applications, patients are also able to access Walgreens.com on the go for pharmacy and retail purchasing as well as health risk assessments and prescription-related information.
Pegus also highlighted how Walgreens and Take Care Clinics are utilizing technology to deliver integrated, quality care and simplify and improve the patient experience. For example, at all of the more than 350 Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens, patients “sign in” using electronic kiosks which help them understand their estimated wait time and avoid manually filling out paperwork. Data inputted into the kiosk prompts the creation of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) which allows providers across the country to more quickly and comprehensively understand a patient’s history. The Walgreens pharmacists and Take Care providers use an eCommunication program to coordinate care with a patient’s pharmacy provider and can quickly generate reports to share with a patient’s primary care provider to facilitate coordinated care.